I decided to visit the place enroute to a camp at Neyveli. The place is very easy to find. After melmaruvathur the town of accharapakkam is found where the road (NH 45) takes a right curve when you enter the town there are directions posted ask for the police station and turn left here the road takes a further left and within no time you are in the temple
The temple is related to the Tripurantaka legend where Shiva destroyed the asuras with a mere look. Since he started without pooja to Ganapathi the achchu of the chariot broke here hence (Achcu + iRu+ Pakkam).
There is a ganapathy which needs to be prayed before you enter the temple which has been referred to by Paramacharya of kanchi in deivathin kural
Legend behind the temple:
Once when a Pandya king was passing through this place, he saw a giant lizard (udumbu) running through the jasmine bushes and disappeared at the base of a Kondrai tree. This was because these lizards were used in war to climb up ramparts.The king ordered to cut the tree and while doing so, blood oozed out from it and they saw a beautiful Shiva lingam there. The king was very disturbed during the night due to his act and Lord Shiva appeared in his dream and told to build a temple at that place. The king arranged all the materials for constructing the temple and requested a sage to do so - Sage Thirinendhrathari – sage with three eyes (thiri – three, nendhra –eyes) – and continued his journey. On his return he was surprised to see two main shrines and when he enquired, the sage replied that “one is Umaiyatcheeswarar who engrossed you whereas the other one is the Aatcheeswarar who engrossed me”. The scar that was produced when the King cut the tree is present at the back of the Aatcheeswarar. Sage Thirinendhrathari did penance here for long time after completing the temple and under the kondrai tree here, got the dharshan of Lord Shiva alighting from the divine chariot during the Thiripura samharam. This is being celebrated every year now as “Kondraiyadi Seva” during the seventh day evening of the Chithrai festival.
As you enter below the raja gopuram you find the amman sannidhi on your right
The amman is called Balasukhambal, Sundara Nayaki . The idol is facing South. She is in the standing position and is very enchanting
The main temple is unique with two main praharams
One main praharam is in line with the Dwajastambam the aatcheeswarar who is almost submerged in the ground with a square avudiar . The nandhi in front of him is bowed in dhyanam and is supposed to be built over the Jeeva samadhi of sage Thirinendhrathari ( this is seen on the right side of the pic)
and the other one is umayathcheeswarar with a round avudiar in line with the Rajagopuram with the majestic nandi.( this sannidhi is seen on the left hand side of the pic below)Behind the lingam is Lord Shiva and Parvathi devi in human form in Marriage posture as stone sculpture. Sage Agasthiar got the dharshan of Lord Shiva’s marriage in 17 places and this is one of those places (In the Kalyana Sundareswarar temple at Nallur near Kumbakonam also Shiva and Parvathi are in marriage posture in the main shrine behind the main linga as sudai sculpture so also in the thiruvadigai veerattanam see my previous blog on this temple).
The Umayatcheswarar sannidhi has a unique neighbor Srinivasa perumal with Lakshmi . Perumal standing on an avudiar probably to signify that siva and vishnu are but the same!!
There are sannidhis for saraswaty and Pillaiyar with His consorts Sidhi and Budhi, Sundara moorthy Swamigal with Sangili Nachiyar and Pavai Nachiyar, Sekkizhar, Natarajar surrounded by Sivagama Sundari, Manicka Vasagar and Karaikkal Ammaiyar, Kala Bairavar with a Brahma Kabala garland of skulls are the other deities present in the inner praharam.
Significance: One of the 275 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams
Dharshan time: 7 AM to 12 noon and 4 to 9 PM
Contact: Sankar Gurukkal – 98423 09534